To study something like improvisation, which is defined as you go, everything you assume is going to affect the result. I tried to be aware of what the assumptions were. […] This guidance caused us to consider all sorts of things, such as communication, emotion, psychology, sex, education, childhood development, culture, taboos, space, time, and the self. It is all very well to say that one takes responsibility for one’s self in improvisation, but it is indeed a staggering job in its details. An improvisor’s job is never done. All this to explore the ability of the consciousness to cleave to the body’s moment and remain there as the moment changes.
– Steve Paxton, “Drafting Interior Techniques” (1993)
SIT: School for Interior Techniques is an ephemeral residency that lives inside Contact Improvisation events (festivals, camps, retreats, jams…). It can last a week or a month, and it is an attempt at giving tools to articulate the experience of dancing through philosophy, movement analysis and dancing.
Our guide is the concept and practice of “interior techniques”, as pointed to in Steve Paxton’s remark: “I have seen willful students straining their muscles in an attempt to improve their dancing, but I have yet to observe them stretch their senses.”
Interior techniques point to a refinement of sensations and images, they are reclaiming physical and psychical possibilities that are dormant in our daily lives.
We imagine SIT as a ‘minor’ school: nomadic and rhizomatic in nature. It is a school where nobody is the teacher, where there is no hierarchy of interests, nor a fixed syllabus: just the wish to learn together and from each other.
SIT is not a school “of” Contact Improvisation, nor a technical dance school. It is a school “with” Contact Improvisation, practiced with and through philosophy, anthropology, cognitive science and other resources—all understood as practices, rather than theories.
SIT has been facilitated by a core group of students that includes: Asaf Bachrach, Romain Bigé, Joe Dumit, Defne Erdur, and Federica Fratagnoli. It is looking forward to expand and replicate in different languages, settings and groups.